by Edward Hirsch
Give me back my father walking the halls
of Wertheimer Box and Paper Company
with sawdust clinging to his shoes.
Give me back his tape measure and his keys,
his drafting pencil and his order forms;
give me his daydreams on lined paper.
I don’t understand this uncontainable grief.
Whatever you had that never fit,
whatever else you needed, believe me,
my father, who wanted your business,
would squat down at your side
and sketch you a container for it.
Appears in The New York Review of Books, February 9, 2006. Editorial: Would seem to work for the living as well as the dead.